Real Estate Location Analytics
GSL are focused on real estate land sales of rural, timberland, recreational, and transitional land. Though new to GIS the owner recognized the potential benefits GIS might bring to his company. Land data collection and location analytics were key areas of focus: to move his agents from secretaries to salespeople.
When a new property became available GSL sales agents went out and collected property information manually using pen, paper, and digital photos. They then input this data into the company computer system. This was slow and time consuming.
The company web site was also manually updated to add new land sale listings or to make changes to existing listings. National listings sites also followed the same process.
They also had no way to analyse their property inventory. Generating flyers for clients was challenging. Agents used locally stored spreadsheets for all their work.
GSL wanted to completely automate their data collection process using smartphones and tablets. Given theirs is a location based business, using intelligent maps and GIS made much sense.
Their vision was for agents to use a mobile intelligent mapping app to collect property information with pictures. And with tap of a button, to have this data pushed into the company computer system. From there a new web listing to be automatically generated and published. With the national listing services updated in a similar manner.
With all their property data stored centrally, the owner wanted to have the ability to analyze the company property inventory, both current and historical. This would help the company get ahead of their competition.
Data preparation was a key area of this initial project work. Many meetings were conducted discussing what data the company currently had and what would be needed. There were two key data types:
- Reference Layers – These were map layers which provided context and key property related information. This included basemaps, land tracts, ownership and tax data, land features.
- Editable Layers – Agents would be editing property data. Decisions needed to be made on which data fields needed to be collected: acreage, land type, owner etc.
Careful planning, preparation, data gathering and publishing were key to the final success of this project.
ArcGIS Online proved to be the ideal platform for this solution. Data stored centrally, which was easy to update was key. The configurable apps which come with ArcGIS Online proved invaluable.
Management of data was focused on the use of ArcGIS desktop. Collector for ArcGIS and Geoforms for ArcGIS were used by agents in the field for collecting property data. A number of map viewers were configured to allow agents to share property information on their iPads while on-site.
A process was put in place which automatically generated a new property web listing each time new data was pushed into the GIS. This updated both the company web site and national listings. Agents could stay focused on sales and not data entry.
Since implementing this ArcGIS system the company have seen increased sales and have added a number of new agents.